Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel

Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
© Provided by The National Miss universe contestants arrive at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, east of Tel Aviv, on November 28, 2021. AFP

A contestant at the upcoming Miss Universe 2021 pageant in Eilat, Israel has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the finals on December 12.

The Miss Universe Organisation did not identify the contestant who tested positive or her nationality. It said Monday that the beauty queen tested positive upon arrival in Israel and was taken to a government-run isolation hotel. She was fully vaccinated and tested prior to her departure from her home country.

Most of the 80 contestants have arrived in Israel, organisers said, days after the country banned the entry of all foreigners in an effort to stave off the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
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Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said on Sunday that the global contest, which is celebrating its 70th year this year, will go ahead as planned and participants would be granted waivers while possibly undergoing PCR testing every 48 hours, along with other precautionary measures.

“This is an event that will be broadcast in 174 countries, a very important event, an event that Eilat, too, is very much in need of,” he told reporters before the weekly cabinet meeting, where ministers were due to vote on the anti-Omicron measures. “We will know how to manage this event. So, by using the waivers committee, we will have events like this, to which the country already committed itself and cannot cancel.”

Morocco and the UAE are also expected to send representatives this year, while a new Miss USA is to be crowned soon. On Monday night, organisers also named the first contestant from Bahrain, Manar Nadeem Deyani, a fashion design student living in Dubai.

“I maybe the shortest candidate in the history of Miss Universe but I stand tall representing a country of love, peace and kindness – your first ever Miss Universe Bahrain,” Deyani, 25, posted on Instagram announcing her participation.

Israel has so far confirmed one Omicron case, and authorities said on Sunday they were putting together a safety plan for Miss Universe and could limit admission to the pageant from countries deemed to be high-risk.

– Additional reporting by AP

Scroll through the gallery below for pictures of reigning Miss Universe Andrea Meza touring Jerusalem’s Old City:

Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe 2021 contestant tests positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel
Miss Universe Andrea Meza from Mexico is backdropped by the Western Wall and Al Aqsa Mosque during a tour in Jerusalem’s Old City. EPA Meza is visiting Israel ahead of the 70th Miss Universe contest that will be held in Eilat city at the Red Sea resort on December 12. EPA The pageant is in the spotlight for being held in Israel amid boycott calls in solidarity with Palestinians. EPA Meza passes security as she visits the Western Wall during a tour in Jerusalem’s Old City. EPA Meza, 27, was crowned Miss Universe in May, during a Covid-delayed ceremony in Florida. EPA Meza at the Western Wall. EPA Meza said the long-running beauty pageant shouldn’t be politicised. EPA Meza visits the Jesus Tomb inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. EPA Meza prays at the Stone of the Anointing as she visits the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. EPA Outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. EPA The stone slab is traditionally believed to be the stone where Jesus’s body was prepared for burial. AP Meza inside Jesus Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. EPA Meza wore a flowing, full-length dress with flat sandals as she toured the Old City. AP Meza meandered through the mostly empty cobblestoned alleyways of the Old City, stopping to peek into shops as a media scrum followed. AP Meza, who is a software engineer, said she was “just a girl”, from a small town in Mexico who was not a “perfect and flawless” beauty queen. AP Meza said she had worked hard to become Miss Universe and that the competition wasn’t only about parading women in bikinis, but also about testing their intelligence. AP Asked if she could offer a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Meza said she didn’t believe in violence and that communication was key. AFP The Miss Universe pageant is also expected to draw contestants from Morocco and the UAE, which recently normalised ties with Israel. AFP Meza checks out shops in the Old City. AFP Meza by the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. Reuters Miss Universe’s visit to Old City was part of the preparation for Israel hosting Miss Universe 2021 on December 12. Reuters Israel’s Tourism Ministry hosted Meza’s trip to the Old City. Reuters

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